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Home About Australian Apprenticeships Information About Training

Information About Training

Information on qualifications, training arrangements, training providers and approaches to training delivery and assessment.


Apprentices and trainees gain valuable experience and training on-the-job with their employer while also completing formal training towards a nationally recognised qualification with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

How this all works comes out of discussions between the employer, employee and the RTO. An RTO can provide flexible learning approaches that put in place a training plan that fits with the needs of the employer and employee.

Flexible learning can expand choice about what, when, where and how people learn. It is based on the needs of the learner and can cover a range of training delivery styles including classroom-based learning, e-learning, distance education, mixed-mode delivery, online learning, self-paced and self-directed learning.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are ‘competency based’ meaning it may be possible to complete training sooner if the required skill level has been achieved and can be demonstrated.

Competency is the consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It means the employee has the ability to apply skills and knowledge, even in new situations and environments.

Qualifications can also be tailored to meet the needs of the employer, for example through the selection of elective units. This helps the training develop productive employees with skills that can be applied in the workplace. 

Training in the workplace

A Training Plan will outline what aspects of the training will be formally delivered by the training organisation and what aspects will be the employer's or supervisor's focus in the workplace in the context of day to day work.

Employers play a big role in everyone getting the most out of the training experience. Their ongoing attention to training benefits themselves (helping a speedy build up of productive skills) and also their employee (providing feedback on the quality and relevance of the training).  

For an apprentice or trainee factors that make up a quality training experience include:

  • Having a workplace coach, mentor or supervisor;
  • Receiving clear direction about what needs to be learned;
  • Having time allocated for explainations, demonstrations and practice of tasks or skills, particularly if workplace specific methods are used;
  • Provision of regular feedback, and being able to request feedback, about the training being received in the workplace and from the training organisation;
  • Attention to the identification and resolution of problems before they affect work performance and working relationships;
  • Ongoing monitoring of the training plan by the employer, employee and training provider. Is the training plan achieving outcomes, are competencies being achieved, are records being kept? 

The Training Contract

When an employee is 'signed up' into an apprenticeship or traineeship both the employer and employee sign a training contract or training agreement.

This is a legally binding agreement between the employer and the apprentice or trainee. It protects both the employer’s and employee's interests and outlines each party’s obligations, including the training and supervision that must be provided.

Each party receives a copy. It is important to keep this copy for the duration of the Australian Apprenticeship. Here's a tip for people who think it's unlikely that they will remember where they filed a piece of paper perhaps up to four years ago, take a picture of it and back the file up somewhere handy.

The contract will cover: the qualification to be undertaken; an estimate of how long it will take to complete; the number of hours in training and employment provided each week; each party’s obligations to each other; what to do if there is a problem; and the off-the-job and on-the-job training arrangements.

Once completed, the training contract will be lodged with an Apprenticeship Network provider and approved by the State or Territory Training Authority.  

Apprenticeship Network providers are contracted by the Australian Government and operate across Australia. 

What is a training organisation?

​A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is an organisation providing Vocational Education and Training (VET) to students, resulting in qualifications or statements of attainment that are recognised and accepted by industry and other educational institutions throughout Australia​.

RTOs can deliver qualification based training on a pay as you go basis, also called 'fee for service', where students pay for training of a course.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are different: they must involve employment; there is a workplace context to the training; and the training delivery is usually publically funded, although there may be associated costs for the person being trained. 

It's important to know that only RTOs that have been specifically approved by state and territory governments can provide apprenticeship and traineeship training.  

RTOs include TAFE colleges or institutes, private providers, adult and community education providers, community groups, and schools.

They are organisations registered with the national Australian Skills Quality Authority (or the state training authority in the case of Victoria and Western Australia), and are both providers and assessors of nationally recognised training.

Only RTOs can issue Australian Qualification Framework qualifications and statements of attainment.

Organisations delivering Australian Apprenticeship training

Organisations delivering Australian Apprenticeship training

Not all Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are approved to deliver apprenticeship or traineeship training.

Information on approved RTOs is held by state and territory governments. It's usually possible to search by qualification or industry.

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Registered Training Organisations and course delivery

Registered Training Organisations and course delivery

If you are looking for RTOs registered to deliver a qualification as a course, search the Australian Government's MySkills website.

Search by qualification and location to find an extensive range of information.


Information for employers

Training an apprentice or trainee benefits employers and employees. Productivity is developed quickly and in relevant skills. Qualifications are developed to national standards and delivered by providers that are quality assessed nationally and often also at a state and territory level.

Another benefit of apprenticeship and traineeship training is the role employers have in contextualising and consolidating the learning in their own workplace practices and to their needs. This requires an active approach and attention to an employee’s progress through training.

For Employers who wants to know more on training your apprentice or trainee

Click Here

More about the Training Plan

The Training Plan is a formal training document that outlines which units of training will be formally delivered by the training organisation and what aspects will be the focus of on the job training by the employer.

The plan is developed by a Registered Training Organisation with the input of the employer and employee, who must agree to it and sign it off.  It is maintained by the training provider and completed in close consultation with all participants.

It outlines:

  • the units that will be undertaken as part of the qualification;
  • the name of the responsible training provider;
  • the location and timing of the training (on-the-job, off-the-job or a mixture of both);
  • how the assessments will occur and when the apprentice or trainee will complete them.

With Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships, and in some States and Territories, the Training Plan needs to accompany the Training Contract when lodged by an Apprenticeship Network provider.

Skills Recognition

Skills Recognition is a generic term that is used to cover the way a person's skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications can be formally acknowledged.

These include:

  • recognition of prior learning;
  • recognition of current competency;
  • credit transfer (including national recognition);
  • trade recognition;
  • overseas qualification assessment.

About Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

Information on Recognition of Current Competency

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) assessments apply where a person has already completed, and has received credit for, some formal training in a relevant field.  This is evidence that they are not required to repeat the training.

Looking for more information on Recognition of Prior Learning? Download the fact sheet

How do you know if you are ready for training?

How do you know if you are ready for training?

Try one of these industry based aptitude quizzes to see if you've got what it takes to meet the demands of entry level qualifications.

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